Danny Boyle: The '00s
Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise
28 Days Later...
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Sunshine (July 19/07)
Whatever faults there may be within Sunshine - and there are more than a few, admittedly - the film is ultimately redeemed by Alex Garland's complex, unpredictable screenplay and director Danny Boyle's expectedly flamboyant visuals. The story follows a group of astronauts - including Cillian Murphy's Capa, Cliff Curtis' Searle, and Rose Byrne's Cassie - as they're sent on a perilous mission to re-ignite the dying sun, with a particular focus on their subsequent efforts to overcome a series of problems and complications. There's little doubt that Sunshine immediately sets itself apart from the majority of its science-fiction brethren, as Boyle establishes an atmosphere that ultimately feels both familiar and alien at the same time. The storyline is chock-a-block with precisely the sort of crises that viewers have come to expect from films of this ilk - ie the ubiquitous revelation that the crew is running low on oxygen - and yet Boyle and Garland somehow manage to infuse such sequences with a wholly original sensibility that proves to be intoxicating. The uniformly superb cast brings an unprecedented amount of depth to even the simplest scenes; they're so good, in fact, that one can't help but wish that the film's second half contained less of an emphasis on action and violence (ie a few quieter, more introspective moments would've been welcome). And although the use of computer-generated effects does render more than a few sequences virtually unintelligible (Garland, likewise, relies on technobabble a little more often than one might've liked), Sunshine is, by and large, a mesmerizing and thoroughly captivating piece of work.